This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Just a normal game.
That’s the message that boyhood Forest fan Joe Worrall is trying to get across ahead of this weekend’s clash with fierce rivals Derby County. Worrall went to these matches as a kid, but now finds himself about to play in one of them, but that doesn’t mean he’s getting too fired up about the occasion.
Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, Worrall spoke about how much the game means to him, but how things changed when he went from being a fan to a player:
“You watch the game from the stands and you know how much it means for the people around you. As a player, people know I love the club. I want to beat Derby. It’s as simple as that. Hopefully the bragging rights are on the red side after the game. It’s a big occasion, but everyone tries to build the game up. It’s a normal game and we’ve just got to carry on as players.”
Watch Nottingham Forest Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv Below
As we’ve previously discussed on FFC, Forest captain Michael Dawson should be left out of this game as a precaution against damaging his calf injury any further.
In his absence, midfielder Ben Watson has been wearing the captain’s armband, however on this occasion and this occasion alone, that duty needs to go to Worrall.
Every football player growing up had their team that they supported, and would have had their own fierce rivals to contend with, so it’s not as if he is the only player that will be used to derby matches.
The majority of players would have experienced some sort of intense atmosphere at some point during their careers, so it’s not as if this sort of match is completely new to them.
However, this one clearly means a lot more to Worrall, and if there is anyone that understands what the rivalry will mean to the supporters and the team, it’s him. He speaks at the end about how he sees this as just ‘a normal game’, which signals how much of a calming influence he can be for the team.
Garry Birtles recently spoke about how electric the atmosphere can be and how chaotic the opening exchanges are going to be, so if there’s anyone out there that will know how to do it, Worrall is your man.
Whilst Watson might have the experience when it comes to age, nobody will have better experience when it comes to the East Midlands Derby than the 22-year-old central defender, and that’s why he needs to be the one taking the lead on Saturday.